First place Detroit was challenged by the Chicago Black Hawks in one semi-final series, while the two Canadian teams, Montreal and Toronto, battled in the other.
It took seven games, but the Black Hawks eliminated the Red Wings, and the Habs pushed the Leafs aside four games to two, ending Toronto's three-year Cup run.
Montreal's Gump Worsley played in his first Stanley Cup final after 12 seasons in the NHL. The Canadiens won the series against Chicago four games to three, but three of those four victories came by shutout. Charlie Hodge recorded one shutout, while the veteran Worsley played four games, recording two shutouts, most notably shutting out Chicago in game seven to lift Montreal to the Stanley Cup title.
Captain Jean Beliveau won the first-ever Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the playoffs, scoring 16 points in 13 games.